Mumbai Indians secured their second trophy in a year as they beat Rajasthan Royals in the final of the Champions League T20. However, a much fancied side, considering the talent on hand, only had one trophy to their credit prior to winning the Indian Premier League this year and captain Rohit Sharma admitted they were feeling the pinch.
"It wasn't easy, there was a lot of pressure when we started the IPL and again when we started the Champions League," he said. "There were a lot of expectations and I think we held our nerve well. We showed a lot of character in the tournament and in the end the results favoured what we wanted."
Mumbai posted a daunting total courtesy a solid start from Dwayne Smith, who has been one of their most dependable players throughout the CLT20, and a blistering finish from Glenn Maxwell, who had come in for this game in place of Mitchell Johnson, and slammed 37 in 14 balls. Royals' chase was looking promising with Sanju Samson and Ajinkya Rahane motoring along, but Harbhajan Singh rewrote the script, just as he had done in Mumbai's successful 2011 Champions League, picking up three wickets in the 17th over to seal Royals' fate.
"It was a really great start by Smithy and then Maxy finished off pretty well and everybody chipped in," Rohit said. "And from their side Samson and Ajju [Rahane] really played very well. It was a nail-biting game and that was what we were expecting in the final. We always love playing Champions League. As the name suggests, every team here is a champion and winning this is like the icing on the cake."
Rahul Dravid, the Royals captain, was also highly impressed with the mettle shown by Samson and Rahane, whose 109-run partnership off only 67 balls gave Royals a chance.
"How good were Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson in that partnership?" he said. "All credit to Mumbai Indians, I think they were the deserving winners tonight. They played better cricket in the crunch situations towards the last five-six overs in both the innings but a terrific effort from the team. Everyone really fought hard and specially Sanju and Ajinkya today were excellent along with PT [Pravin Tambe] in the bowling department.
Taking the field for the last time in limited-overs cricket, Dravid was overwhelmed by the adulation he received, both from the Delhi crowd and from the two sides. "I'd just like to thank the players of both teams today, Mumbai Indians and my team and this fantastic crowd here for the ovation they gave me. It was really touching and I'm really grateful for the way they came out and supported me, stood up and cheered and it was really emotional."